Without Dhoni there was a big hole to fill: Fleming

Chennai Super Kings sans MS Dhoni struggled yet again as they lost to Mumbai Indians by 46 runs. By virtue of the win, Mumbai breached the fortress at Chepauk, handing over the first defeat to CSK at home this season.

Speaking at the post-match conference, Fleming attributed the defeat to loss of wickets at regular intervals and failure to put together partnerships.

“Batting wise we lost wickets consistently throughout. The pitch had enough in it to create problems if your are losing wickets and the partnership at the front between Rohit and Evin Lwis was quite important. We needed good partnership at the top to minimise the effect of their spinners. Lot of things did not really go our way and we did not create enough to make them go our way.”

Fleming was also quick to admit that the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’in the middle was a void Chennai Super Kings found too difficult to fill. “He is a great leader and a great player. He’s been a constant for us for so many years. You just get into the rhythm while having him there. When you take a leader like that out, there are going to be some holes to fill. It’s not that we’re not trying to fill it. It’s just that the hole is quite big, It takes a mammoth effort to lift the team up when you have one of the best player who is unavailable. It’s probably psychological as well. Though we’re good enough to do that… the two games we have played without him, the performances have been well-below par from a team perspective as well as an individual perspective,” he said.

However he denied that he felt that the batsmen felt insecure in the absence of Dhoni and said he was concerned with repetitive mistakes committed this season and hoped for a team performance in the remaining games.

“I don’t think so (batsmen insecure in Dhoni’s absence). There’s a comfort when he’s there. He was there (batting) in the last game. The players are good enough and have enough experience to do it themselves. We do have situations that doesn’t go our day and we should have the experience to deal with it. At the moment, it’s not happening. The thing that concerns me is repetitive mistakes. The fact that we are still at the top of the table is testament to bowlers and individual performances.”

Vijay, playing his first IPL match played a vital knock and he is expected to have a longer run in the team after Du Plessis’ departure for WC. “Vijay has been on the fringes throughout the tournament, we are dicussing the opportunities for him at length. It was good for Vijay to post a substantial score. Certainly at the moment he has put his hand up for opportunity,” said the coach.

“Both Jadeja and Dhoni are pretty sick with virus and we are looking forward to the four-day, it has probably come one day too late but we have been on the travel. Now we have got four days to recharge, I think Mumbai benefited from their five-day break this game and we will look to do the same now,” the coach added.

NT Bureau